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Letter: Brown had no choice but to pay full tax on the new provost residence

To the Editor:

Julia Vaz’s story about Brown’s purchase of a $2.5 million home at 125 Hope Street to house the provost states that, “As with 37 Cooke St., the University will not claim a homestead exemption for the Hope Street property.” Providence’s homestead exemption “provides residential homeowners a 40% reduction on their annual property taxes,” according to the city. The story goes on to state that this change will increase tax revenue for the City of Providence at the property, which was previously owned by an individual occupant who did claim the exemption. 

The story seems to imply that the property’s shift to the non-homestead tax rate is some sort of beneficent decision on the part of the University, but in reality, Brown would likely have no choice but to pay full taxes on the property. If Brown did try to claim the exemption it is hard to imagine any city tax assessor agreeing to it. After all, Brown University is not going to be living at 125 Hope Street — just the provost is. 

Peter Ian Asen ’04


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